Life with an Otto Bock Walk On AFO

Life with a leg brace has been interesting. Orthotic Services put me in an Otto Bock WalkOn Flex AFO back in April. We did this to combat problems that I was having with my foot drop issue on my right side. The brace supports my ankle and gives my lower leg added stability. It's made of carbon fiber and wearing it feels weird, but I've not fallen since the AFO was fitted.

Otto Bock AFO
The brace wraps around my ankle and goes up the inside and back of my leg. A 4" high half-cuff of cabon fiber goes around the back of my calf next to my knee. A thin pad and an extra long velcro strap holds it in place fairly well. I have to make minor adjustments throughout the day.

Getting used to wearing the brace has been an experience. The foot brace meant saying good-bye to my beloved pair of Zigs and hello to New Balance. An extra-wide width was required and it took some serious pushing to get the brace down into the shoe where it goes. Taking up extra space in the left shoe is done by wearing mismatched socks. A think sock on the left and a thin one on the right helps make life more comfortable. Dresses are out and getting dressed in general is more challenging.

Driving is a challenge. The Otto Bock Walk On, like any other AFO, is designed to keep my toes up off of the floor, and most of the time it helps. The story changes when it comes to pressing an accelerator.. That I have to push by using my leg instead of lifting and pressing the pedal. If I really work it, I can sometimes rest my leg against the front edge of the seat and brace against that when pushing. You can imagine how comfortable that isn't.

My husband and I drove across the country this past summer. Thanks to the situation with my brace and leg, he had to do much more of the driving than he ever has before. I haven't done any real distance driving since having the brace and it makes me nervous to think about doing so.

Despite its shortcomings, the Otto Bock AFO seems to be helping. I have to be extra careful when I'm not wearing the brace, because my leg seems weaker now than before getting the AFO. Also, stepping out of the shower can be especially challenging. I guess it will take more time to fully adjust. But, I've not fallen again, so that's something to be grateful for.


Podcasts of sermons are available online

My sermon podcasts are now available at Archive.org. The free sermon podcasts are usually shorter than 15 minutes and are free to download. All of the messages are recorded live at either of the churches that I serve. Copyright restrictions prohibit the distribution of music, so the full worship hour is not available at this time.

An attempt has been made to edit out some of the audible background noise. The substance of the sermon is unaltered, but breaks may be noticed in the message and an occasional word may be missing. Edits (if any) are made to provide you with a better listening experience. My goal is to remove noise caused by excess movement, coughing etc. The audio file is unaltered if it is unable to be edited without substantially changing the message.

It may take awhile for me to edit the Sermons, so the latest message may not be immediately available by podcast. During Advent, Holy Week and other busy times within the church it may be almost impossible for me to keep pace. I will do my best, but no promises.

Click the links below to listen to the podcasts. Feedback on the messages is always welcome. Please feel free to leave comments in the section below this blog post. Feedback on the messages is always welcome. Questions and comments are always welcome. Feel free to leave your comments in the section below this blog post. Reviews on the Archive.org page are also welcome.

Thank you for listening. The list of available podcasts is always in flux as more are added.

Available podcasts include:

Music in Worship


I had a mammogram today

I had a mammogram today. Nothing is wrong. It's same test that I get every year to confirm that the girls are okay. Walk in, plop them out one at a time and put them between the plates of a sturdy cold vise. No prep (except removing deodorant) and no late night studying required. Easy peasy. Except, it's not.

My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was forty-nine. She found the lump several months before going to the doctor. When she finally summoned the courage to see a doctor he assured her that it was nothing but a cyst. She went home. The evil little time bomb was still there a few months later. She had a mammogram, the report read "Normal". It lied.

At forty-eight she stood, breathing in the sterile hospital odors of bleach and alcohol, to stare at a machine that would reveal her fate. Or so they said.

I try not to remember this as the fortune teller's assistant gives me instructions. My bends and twists rival those of any contortionist. The test is over quickly. I return to the waiting area and am soon called again. The radiologist wants "a couple more pictures". The nonchalant technologist informs me "it happens" and again I contort.

I am returned to the waiting room to await the results among other women in the human assembly line. Coffee and cookies are there to make the wait easier. More pleasantries are exchanged as women come and go.

The assistant fortune teller appears in the door. A smile lights her face as she says "You're free to go." I stammer and ask about the results. As the door slowly swings open to the lobby where my husband and daughter I am told that the test is all clear. "It looks normal", she says.